2021 News

Clean Water for Kids after the Cyclone

Wednesday, 7 April 2021

Torlie is a small kindergarten serving the Wutsunmwel community in Central Pentecost. Without a source of clean, safe water at the school, children are unable to wash their hands properly. The water they have access to at home can also be very limited. So, everyone was excited to hear that a new water tank was coming to the kindergarten.

The water tank bound for Torlie Kindergarten arrived in Vanuatu before Cyclone Harold struck the coast in April of last year. Linda Vusi, Community Development Co-ordinator, went along with representatives from the school to pick the tank up from Luganville, on Espiritu Santo. Between the two towns is a 100km journey across the ocean. 

“The tanks came in before Cyclone Harold,” Linda tells us, “And had been in the Churches of Christ Church Board area. We collected the tank, three gutters, and other parts, on the ship to Central Pentecost.”

But sadly, the destruction caused by the cyclone pushed community development back significantly. It wasn’t until August that the water tank could finally make its way to the community that desperately needed it.

On August 10 the people from Wutsunmwel broke ground at the project. Men and women worked together clearing land, carrying water and laying bricks to build a slab for the water tank to sit on.

Two days later, the guttering was attached to the side of the school building. A long pipe connected the gutters to the tank, to fill it with clean rainwater. 

Finally, the tank was ready to be installed! It was carried up to the slab and connected to a brand-new pipe stand with a tap — so that the kids can easily get clean water!

Torlie Kindergarten had their end of term break up and decided to hold a dedication for the new water tank! The kids decorated the tank and tap with balloons and flowers. 

“There was also the dedication prayer over the tank before the children can use it,” Linda says. “A letter was made to the President of the Central Pentecost Church Board, Pastor Edwin Tabi, to come and officially dedicate the water tank.”

Pastor Edwin did come down to the school to offer a prayer of blessing, and cut the ribbon on the water tank. That’s how excited the community were for Torlie kindergarten to receive water!

“We are fortunate to have the water tank,” says Linda. “It will be used for children’s learning activities…and for health and sanitation practices.”

Your support of Safe Water September has helped to ensure people like the children at Torlie Kindergarten are able to receive access to safe water! Your gifts enable these projects to continue, and will help more communities just like Wutsunmwel provide safe, clean water for their children. 

“I would like to acknowledge the inclusion of Torlie Kindy and Primary School in this year’s project, and convey our appreciation to the donors of the project,” Linda says.

You can read more stories like this online at www.safewaterseptember.org.au

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